Recently, my brother passed his driving test. I’m very proud of him! I don’t drive, and I won’t learn, because I’m conceited. What’s interesting, though, is that until a few months ago, Luke didn’t want to learn either. What changed? He saw this car:
That’s a Datsun 280z Fairlady. I must admit, it’s a beautiful thing. A classic, really, and I’d quite happily just sit in the cockpit and make ‘brmm’ sounds all day long. Luke wanted this car, and he wanted it so bad he went through the rather grueling process of learning to drive. And here’s the funny thing; his love affair with the vehicle started when we were kids – it’s a Transformer! You may recognise it as the alt-mode of Prowl, Bluestreak or Smokescreen.
Now, we’re all subject to a bit of childhood conditioning, our young brains were malleable and to a certain extent shaped by what the toy companies fed us. There’s no denying that Luke wants this car because it reminds him of a favourite childhood character – a fantasy. Of course, being older, he also appreciates the style and engineering of the vehicle itself, but this isn’t Top Gear, so I won’t go into that.
It may seem a little odd, and I’m certain some of you are bemused. But I think it’s wonderful; Luke wanted something – it was far-fetched and a little silly – but he went for it. He put in the time and the dedication, and he never let go of his dream. He went out and got something not because it was cool or because it was what everyone else was buying, but because it meant something to him.
And I think we can all learn a lesson from that. How many of us have been tempted to buy an iPad or PS4 or whatever, because everyone else has one? We express ourselves with the things we own or buy, and sometimes we can be afraid of ridicule from others if those things are unusual. I bought a T-shirt the other day, and it has My Little Pony characters plastered all over it in a ridiculous collage. It looks like a ladies’ blouse or perhaps a floral tablecloth. People in the street probably say all kinds of things behind my back. But it makes me happy because it means something to me.
So, my point then: No matter how insane they seem, you must follow your dreams! Because one day, you too can drive a fourty-year old Japanese car that gets three miles to the gallon, while pretending you’re sitting inside an alien robot from a 1980s cartoon. And it’ll feel great.
“Affair with the vehicle”